During the Congressional recess Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez has been at home in her central Orange County district. She hasnâ€™t been kicking back on vacation though,Â she’s been out in her district talking to voters about their needs and finding ways to help. But that isnâ€™t unusual, because with the exception of when she is on Congressional business, she is at home in her district every weekend. Every month, Congresswoman Sanchez holds a District Office Hours event at a local market. This Saturday, she was at the Vons Market on Lincoln Avenue in Anaheim.
During the hour and a half she was there, Loretta and her district office staff, assisted dozens of residents with needs ranging from immigration questions to seeking information about where to get assistance during these tough economic times. Congresswoman Sanchez told me the number one question she gets is about jobs and what she is doing to help. â€œWhat are you doing about jobs Loretta? Iâ€™ve been out of work for over a year, and I need to support my family?â€Â Thatâ€™s what they tell me Sanchez says.Â Sanchez told me of one man who came to talk with her earlier this year who told her;Â â€œIâ€™m a Republican why are the Republicans saying they donâ€™t want to extend unemployment benefits because they think Iâ€™m lazy and donâ€™t want to work. Why are they so out of touch?â€
Loretta shrugs her shoulders; â€œAll I can tell them is what I am doing to help. In September I was the only member of Orange Countyâ€™s Congressional delegation to support the extension of unemployment benefits and to provide the money to states to pay for teachers, police, and fire fighters and keep them on the job. My colleagues,â€ Sanchez said, â€œall said no, no, no. They said the cost was not paid for but thatâ€™s not true. It is paid for by cutting off tax loopholes for companies hiding their profits abroad. They just donâ€™t like how we paid for it.â€
Congresswoman Sanchez points out that even though the Republicans have mapped out a strategy of opposing everything, â€œthe 111th Congress has been the most productive Congress in decades.â€
Some of the accomplishments Sanchez cited were:
- American Recovery and Reinvestment Act â€“ Creates or saves 3.5 million jobs and invests in the future â€“ in clean energy, health care, and infrastructure â€“ to put our nation back on the road to recovery and transform it for long-term growth and stability.
- Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights Act â€“ Provides needed protection for consumers from unfair and arbitrary practices employed by credit card companies.
- Helping Families Save Their Homes Act â€“ Implements provisions included in the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan, including key incentives to encourage lenders to negotiate affordable mortgages for responsible homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure.
- Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act â€“ Restores the rights of women and other workers to challenge unfair pay â€“ to help close the wage gap where women earn 78 cents for every $1 a man earns in America.
- State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) Reauthorization â€“ Legislation to cover 11 million children, including an additional 4 million uninsured but eligible kids.
- Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act â€“ Grants the Food and Drug Administration
- Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act â€“ Health Care reform legislation which enacts changes to the health insurance market that will translate into the biggest expansion of coverage since Medicare and Medicaid were created in 1965, and the most ambitious effort ever to restrain health-care costs.
Sanchez has been personally responsible for more than 50% of the budget allocations coming to Orange County since she was elected in 1996. SheÂ brought $178 million to Orange County schools this year. Sanchez told me â€œIâ€™m proud of my record in Congress and what Iâ€™ve done to help the people of the 47th District. We still have a lot to do, but if the Republicans were to have their way we would be doing nothing at all.â€
I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that Congresswoman Sanchez has released her first campaign ad targeting her Republican challenger Assemblyman Van Tran.